Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thurston Regional Planning CouncilFour years ago, the Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) kicked off its landmark Sustainable Thurston project with a simple question: How do you want your community to look, feel and function in 2035?Residents from around the region spoke up and helped craft Creating Places—Preserving Spaces: A Sustainable Development Plan for the Thurston Region, which integrates sustainability principles into decision-making to achieve a healthy environment, robust economy, and thriving society. Now, as local planners and policymakers begin to implement the ambitious sustainability plan, folks from beyond the region are taking notice.On March 17, Futurewise — formerly 1000 Friends of Washington — will honor Sustainable Thurston, TRPC and its partners with the 2015 Local Government Excellence award. The Seattle-based nonprofit’s award recognizes policy or planning initiatives and programs that support the principles of smart growth.“This award is another confirmation of the great and innovative work the region’s policymakers undertook,” said TRPC Executive Director Lon Wyrick. “The thousands of hours of staff work and citizen involvement paid off in the development of a detailed vision of how we all want our region to grow.”The Sustainable Thurston project has garnered recognition from several other organizations, including the: Planning Association of Washington/American Planning Association—Washington Chapter (2014 Planning Award, Sustainability Category; State of Washington (2014 Governor’s Smart Vision Award); Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (2013 Honorable Mention, Outstanding Achievement).TRPC — Thurston County’s metropolitan planning organization — developed the comprehensive, long-range plan over three years and adopted it in December 2013. TRPC convened an unprecedented partnership of local policymakers, business and nonprofit leaders, and ordinary residents who engaged in a frank conversation and deep analysis of a wide range of topics, including: transportation, housing, land use, economic development, food systems, water, energy, solid waste, air quality, social equity, and climate change. TRPC planners developed data-based scenarios that showed what our fast-growing region would lose during the next quarter-century under business-as-usual patterns — chiefly, sending 13 percent of residential growth to rural areas, resulting in longer commutes, greater carbon emissions and fewer forests, farms and prairies. To curb sprawl, reinvigorate our communities, and protect our natural capital, project participants articulated a bold sustainability vision for 2035, prioritized actions, and assigned roles and responsibilities. For more information about the plan, visit www.trpc.org.
“(Howley) and his immediate family are among more than 230 investors who were victims of a sophisticated Ponzi scheme perpetrated to defraud investors nationwide of nearly $400 million,” Hansen said in a prepared statement to The Two River Times. A financial advisor with ties to Rumson is facing accusations of wrongdoing. Howley’s home on Rumson Road is currently for sale, listed at $4.5 million. The complaint continues that “Howley used the GCR investment as a selling point for the Guardian Life Insurance policy that earned (Howley) a large stream of commissions.” “My relationship with (Howley) is restricted to running and charitable work,” local restaurateur, philanthropist and Rumson-Fair Haven High School running coach Tim McLoone said in an Aug. 12 inter view. “(Howley) has always been good to our athletes and a supporter of our charitable efforts. There was never any inkling of anything like (these allegations). He’s always been a very, very positive influence on our community.” In 2016, John “Jack” Howley, a founding board member of Rumson’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, was selected to be its Grand Marshal. Photo by The Two River Times Though five customer disputes are being arbitrated out of court by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, known as FINRA, a Two River-area couple filed a civil complaint in Monmouth County Superior Court in March. Though Howley was never charged by the SEC, the damages requested from complaints filed against him total more than $4.9 million. Howley chose not to comment for this story. But Mary P. Hansen, a partner with the Philadelphia law firm Drinker Biddle, is representing Howley during this legal process and said the allegations contained in the lawsuit “are without merit.” “Like other investors and sophisticated institutions, Mr. Howley placed his trust in Kevin Merrill, who in May admitted under taking the fraudulent Global Credit Recovery scheme, pled guilty to multiple federal criminal charges and is facing a lengthy prison sentence. At no time did Mr. Howley have knowledge of Kevin Merrill’s criminal enterprise or intent to defraud,” Hansen added. In May, GCR’s Kevin B. Merrill, 53, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud. GCR operated from 2013 through September 2018. Co-defendants Cameron R. Jezierski, 28, and Jay B. Ledford, 55, pleaded guilty in September for their involvement in the scheme. A Sept. 9, 2018 lawsuit against GCR and Merrill was filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States District Court in Maryland. The District Court indicted Merrill and two others Sept. 11, 2018 for conspiracy, identity theft, money laundering and wire fraud. Merrill and GCR’s assets were frozen two days later. According to former Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl, Howley is a “pay-it-forward, giving-back type of guy,” who served on the borough’s recreation committee. Howley also coached recreation and travel basketball and softball and was active in the local track and cross country community. The lawsuit alleges that over the next 15 months Howley recommended the purchase a $6 million life insurance policy from Guardian, a life insurance agency with which Howley has been an advisor since 1983. Howley also suggested an investment in Global Credit Recovery. Guardian could not be reached for comment. Hansen noted that Howley is hopeful the court-appointed arbitrator will soon begin distributing Merrill and GCR’s asset proceeds to investors who were harmed. Rumson resident John “Jack” C. Howley, 58, was discharged from the New York-based Park Avenue Securities Oct. 30, 2018 after failing to disclose private securities transactions and referring clients to investments not offered by the firm. Since the firm severed its ties with Howley, six customer complaints have been levied against him that are still pending decisions. The complaints stem from Howley’s alleged dealings with Global Credit Recovery (GCR), an investment offering the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) labeled a Ponzi scheme in September 2018. Despo’s complaint said that by December 2017 his clients invested a total of $1 million with GCR, an investment that “would be sufficient to pay the premium for the Guardian Insurance.” In 2016, Howley was named the Grand Marshal of the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade, an event he helped found and for which he was a board of trustees member. The lawsuit seeks a total of $1 million in damages from Park Avenue Securities and Howley Financial Group, a financial services firm headed by Howley for 25 years. Its official website is not currently functional. Prior to the pending customer disputes against Howley, which date back to November 2018, the Rumson resident was an active part of the borough community and was celebrated professionally in May 2018 when he was inducted into the Guardian Life Insurance Hall of Fame. “We think we’ve been harmed, and I think we’ll be successful in what we’re seeking,” Despo said when reached by The Two River Times Aug. 5. Howley also organized the first Rumson Opening Day baseball/softball parade, a tradition that continues today. According to the civil complaint, which was submitted on behalf of the Two River-area couple by Rumson attorney William A. Despo, his clients first met with Howley in early 2017 for professional assistance with their investments, life insurance and retirement planning.
WOOLF AWARD TROPHY TO BE PRESENTED AFTER THE 6TH RACE SUNDAY AT SANTA ANITA ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2016)–As America’s first Triple Crown Champion jockey in 37 years, Victor Espinoza helped Thoroughbred racing project a positive image far beyond the confines of the Thoroughbred industry throughout 2015, thus elevating the sport’s exposure and acceptance to a level perhaps not seen since the 1970s. Accordingly, Espinoza, a 43-year-old native of Mexico City, has been selected by a vote of jockeys nationwide as the winner of Santa Anita’s highly coveted 2016 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and he will accept the award in a Winner’s Circle ceremony following Sunday’s sixth race.“It’s quite an honor for any rider to be selected by his peers as the winner of such a prestigious award,” said Terry Meyocks, National Manager of the Jockeys’ Guild. “And I would like to congratulate Victor on this great achievement.”In addition to numerous national television appearances through the 2015 Triple Crown and last fall’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Espinoza also remained tireless in his efforts on behalf of cancer-stricken youth, donating 10 percent of his winnings to support pediatric cancer research at City of Hope, in nearby Duarte.With the Bob Baffert-trained American Pharoah providing the horsepower, Espinoza gleefully proclaimed himself “The luckiest Mexican on earth,” on national television following their win in the Belmont Stakes June 6.In addition to winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, Espinoza and Santa Anita-based American Pharoah won last year’s Grade II Rebel Stakes, Grade I Arkansas Derby, Grade I Haskell Invitational and, in a performance for the ages, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by 6 ½ lengths on Oct. 31–all the while elevating the profile of jockeys nationwide and generating tremendous ratings on a consistent basis.Born on a dairy farm near Mexico City, Espinoza is the 11th of 12 children. A three-time ESPY Award winner, Espinoza has three career Kentucky Derby wins, three Preakness victories, three Breeders’ Cup wins and he’s taken 11 Southern California riding titles.First presented by Santa Anita in 1950, Espinoza is the 67th winner of the Woolf Award, which seeks to honor riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and Thoroughbred racing. The remaining four finalists for this year’s award, which can only be won once during a rider’s career, were Joe Bravo, Javier Castellano, Gerard Melancon and Joe Steiner.
A TOTAL OF 58 STAKES, INCLUDING NINE GRADE I EVENTS, TO BE OFFERED THROUGH SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY, APRIL 8 For a complete roster of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet stakes, please visit santaanita.com. ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2016)–Santa Anita Park, which will offer 58 stakes races beginning with opening day of its traditional Winter Meet on Dec. 26, has announced that the prestigious Grade I, $300,000 American Oaks, which was most recently run in May, 2015, will now be run on Dec. 31. Santa Anita’s 72-day Winter stand will conclude on April 9 and be followed by its Spring Meet, which will run from April 14 through July 4.A blockbuster card consisting of four graded stakes will await fans on opening day, with a pair of Grade I, $300,000 races at seven furlongs–the Malibu for 3-year-old colts and geldings and the La Brea, for 3-year-old fillies, highlighting a 10-race program. The Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) and the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap, at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, will round out the graded stakes action.Heading Santa Anita’s Grade I Winter Meet stakes lineup is the $1 million Santa Anita Derby, which has produced 17 Kentucky Derby winners, and will be run on April 8. The Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap, to be contested for the 81st time, will be run on March 11.Additionally, there will again be a similar number of $75,000 overnight stakes as well as a robust menu of California-bred stakes offered throughout the meeting.HERE IS A COMPLETE ROSTER OF SANTA ANITA’S GRADE I WINTER MEET STAKES: Dec. 26 $300,000 Malibu Stakes Dec. 26 $300,000 La Brea Stakes Dec. 31 $300,000 American Oaks March 11 $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) March 11 $400,000 Triple Bend Stakes March 11 $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap March 18 $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes April 8 $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks April 8 $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby